Winnipeg scored 173.8 on the index, which is an increase of 6% over 2010, edging out second place Saskatoon by almost forty points.
The response from the Mayor and the Chief of Police were disappointingly predictable.
“If crime were going up in our city I’d then I’d be very, very concerned. When I see it’s been dropping over the last few years I know we’re headed in the right direction,” Mayor Katz is reported as saying.
Chief McCaskill reportedly added his perspective by stating “Our efforts are working, The violent crime rate is coming down, property crime rates are coming down.”
The status quo fed to the public and media again, more explanations, minimizations and justifications…..don’t be fooled, its all B.S.
Our status as the most violent City in the Country is simply shameful & unacceptable.
I spent eleven years of my twenty-five year Police career working in units specifically tasked with investigating violent crime. Eight years in Homicide and three and a half years working in Division #23 Robbery / Homicide. The balance of my career was spent in patrol and other areas where I was exposed to violent crime on a daily basis.
If I know anything about anything, I know about violent crime in Winnipeg.
The fact is, Winnipeg is a very violent City.
That is true today and has been true for a very long time.
Winnipeg is not a “SAFE” City despite the rhetoric that is spewed from our Political leaders and Chief of Police.
That is the uncensored truth.
I was shocked when I read a quote from Mayor Katz in which he is reported to have stated; “I have no problem going downtown, I have no problem going to the North End, regardless of the day of the week, regardless of what time it is.”
This kind of denial is reckless and dangerous. Worse, it minimizes the very real problems that plague our City.
In March of 2011 I supervised a Homicide Investigation regarding the murder of a twenty-two year old man who was killed during the early evening hours behind the Portage Place Mall.
During the investigation, Detectives interviewed a young male witness who provided a very real and a very scary description of the dynamics of downtown Winnipeg.
This individual was a friend of the murder victim and was at the scene of the crime at the time of the killing. He readily admitted to gang association and to being armed with a sawed off shot gun on the night in question.
It wasn’t just talk or bravado, the deadly weapon was seized by search warrant as part of the investigation.
He didn’t stop there, he described the area as a virtual war zone crawling with rival gangsters all armed with dangerous and offensive weapons of one description or another, guns, knives and pepper spray.
That’s the reality of downtown Winnipeg, that is the truth.
Ask any “informed” Police Officer if they share the Mayors sentiments and you will receive a resoundingly negative response.
The truth is, the downtown and north end are very violent and dangerous parts of our City.
Violent gang members, dangerous adult and young offenders roam our streets every evening and night. If you paid attention you would see that one of our latest murders occurred at 5:30 a.m.
Cherie Anne Richard-20 years senselessly killed in the 500 block of Furby Street.
The truth is that gangsters and criminals currently own the streets in Winnipeg.
The Police are overwhelmed as they respond to seemingly endless emergency calls while the thugs run wild on our City Streets. “Patrol Time” an apparent thing of the past, taking back the streets a romantic idea but simply not possible with current resources.
After indulging myself in local print media a few weeks ago I found prospective solutions in articles written by Tom Brodbeck (SUN) & Dan Lett (WFP).
Brodbeck the usual tough on crime sentiments and Lett, a softer approach suggesting a social solution.
Both reporters offering thoughtful solutions that would miserably fail in isolation.
As someone who has extensive experience investigating violent crime in this City, I can tell you that the perpetrators of these crimes often come with significant addiction issues.
I have personally investigated hundreds of offenders who have committed violent robberies and can assure you that the vast majority of these crimes were not committed for financial gain or profit. These offenders were almost all addicts chasing the next high, be it drugs or alcohol.
Most killings driven by offenders who were affected by drug or alcohol addiction issues. Drugs or alcohol factoring into the tragic circumstances in one way or another in the majority of cases.
It is my experience that violent offenders are often habitual criminals who have enjoyed decades of “limp dick” justice. Feeble sentences, grossly applied early parole and release philosophies, countless breaches of recognizance and other orders. Horrific crimes, habitual offenders, inadequate sentences, minimal consequences.
The scales of justice so horribly out of balance.
More needs to be done and more must be done.
Any enlightened person who works in Criminal Justice can tell you that drug and alcohol addiction fuels crime and social dysfunction in our City.
Addiction, the number one factor.
Soft justice exacerbates the problem.
Brodbeck & Lett both got it right.
Real leaders would not deny these problems, they would see them as opportunities.
Tom Brodbeck – Winnipeg Sun http://www.winnipegsun.com/2012/07/25/unreported-crime-is-a-major-problem
Dan Lett – Winnipeg Free Press http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/hamsterdam-no-solution-to-our-citys-woes-either-163663156.html